Artistic director

Deepti Gupta

Deepti Gupta, artistic director of Arzoo Dance Theatre
Photo credit: Heather Elton

Brought up in Ottawa, Deepti Gupta is a dancer and choreographer of the elegant Kathak style of Indian dance. A disciple of Sri Munna Lal Shukla, renowned guru of the Lucknow Gharana, she has recently been training and working under the guidance of Kathak legend Pundit Birju Maharaj.

Deepti holds an MA in Dance from York University, Toronto and is a noted scholar, teacher and choreographer both in Canada and in India. Over the years she has received many grants, awards and commissions to support her creative work, including a Chalmers Award, NAC commissions and a Banff Centre for the Arts Residency.

Deepti’s choreographic work is at the cutting edge of contemporary South Asian dance and she has collaborated with a diverse range of international musicians, designers, digital and new media artists. Her work has been presented by the National Arts Centre, National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Dance Festival, Kalanidhi Fine Arts, Raga Mala of Canada, Danceworks, Peterborough New Dance, Banff Centre for the Arts, Tangente, Harbourfront Centre as well as many community presenters across Canada. Her work has also been presented by Danspace Project, DTW, New York; Anila Sinha Foundation, International House and Kalapriya, Chicago; Vasantotsav, Delhi; and the Panchatatva Festival Mumbai among others.

Her choreographies have been critically acclaimed in the New York Times, the Village Voice and Dance Connection Magazine. Deepti has performed extensively in Canada, India, the US and the UK both as a soloist as well as with her company.

A relentless experimentalist with a variety of theatrical interests, she was given the Dora award for costume design. She has also worked extensively in Indian theatre as an actor, dramaturge and script writer.